The tractor was a distraction in an otherwise lonely afternoon.
We'd always hear it before we saw it: the throb of a diesel engine,
the brownish smoke puffing from the exhaust. It was a Ford tractor.
I'd already learnt that Fords were blue, Massey's were red
and David Browns were, confusingly, white.
The farmer would wave and bring the giant machine to a halt.
He always wore a donkey jacket and a tweed cap.
He would say something and his hand would go into his pocket.
He'd start talking and the hand would re-emerge holding a packet
of Trebor's Extra Strong Mints.
Wafer like discs with the curious writing on the sides,
distorted like lettering on very old gravestones.
As soon as the mint was burning in my mouth the farmer
would talk to mother and she would talk back.
I have no idea how long this went on for
or any idea what it was they talked about.